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NATO chief to talk integration issues with Georgia’s authorities in Tbilisi

August 26, 2015, 9:46 UTC+3 TBILISI
Jens Stoltenberg will call on the country to continue the difficult process of normalizing ties with Russia
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© ITAR-TASS/David Urbani

TBILISI, August 26. /TASS/. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is due to discuss integration issues with Georgia’s authorities in Tbilisi during his two-day visit to the country, Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

"In Tbilisi, Stoltenberg will consider a full range of issues linked to Georgia’s integration with NATO and the planned steps in this direction, and also the preparation for the Warsaw summit of NATO," the ministry said in a statement.

NATO Secretary General's special representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, told Georgia’s Public Broadcasting (GPB) that Stoltenberg will call on the country to continue the difficult process of normalizing ties with Russia.

Appathurai stressed that NATO supports the Georgian-Russian dialogue involving Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and Georgian prime minister’s special envoy for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze.

He stressed that there is no alternative for the dialogue between Georgia and Russia which is aimed at avoiding a new deterioration in the relations between the two neighbor countries.

In November 2002, Georgia’s then-President Eduard Shevardnadze said at the NATO summit in Prague that Georgia wished to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance. His successor Mikhail Saakashvili continued that policy.

The new government that came to power after the Georgian Dream coalition won the October 2012 parliamentary polls said Tbilisi would continue the course towards integration into NATO but believes that the major task is to normalize relations with Russia based on Georgia’s territorial integrity.

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